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>Biodiesel, an emerging source of alternative energy, could be in danger if an expired tax credit is not renewed.

Biodiesel can be made from a variety of animal or plant products; even algae is being studied as a possible source. Biodiesel is renewable, creates less pollutants and a great way to decrease the environmental impact of a diesel vehicle without having to make drastic changes. Most diesel engines can use biodiesel blends and pure biodiesel with minor engine modifications.

The tax-credit responsible for much of the growth in the industry expired six months ago, and has yet to be renewed. Concerns over the deficit, and the November elections, mean politicians are wary of giving their opponents anything that can be seen as fiscally irresponsible. Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, says he is determined to get the tax credit reinstated. Yet, despite the professed commitment of many in both parties to alternative energy, it looks as if the issue may be tabled until after the elections.

Diesel fuel is significant. It’s used in tractor-trailer trucks, barges, trains, and other heavy equipment. For these applications, biodiesel is often the only feasible alternative energy source.